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Anti-Inflammatory Medication, Research Proposal Example

Pages: 1

Words: 597

Research Proposal

The Use of Anti-Inflammatory Medication and Chinese Acupuncture for the Treatment of Back Pain

Summary of bachelor thesis proposal

The aim of my project proposal will be to compare the pain levels of patients treated using anti-inflammatory medications and those treated using Chinese acupuncture techniques. I hypothesize that Chinese acupuncture will be more effective than anti-inflammatory medication in reducing patient pain levels.

Back pain is a prevalent disorder among working individuals and 26.6% of the working class in the Netherlands are afflicted (Hildebrandt). Despite the commonality of back pain, there is no cure with the exception of the use of surgical techniques in severe situations. The many patients that do not qualify for surgery are typically either prescribed pain medications or are referred to traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) specialists. Anti-inflammatory medications, such as NSAIDs, and Chinese acupuncture are commonly used as treatment modalities. Although both of these treatment methods are used regularly, there is little evidence that indicates which is more effective in treating back pain.

To determine whether anti-inflammatory pain medication or Chinese acupuncture is superior in treating back pain, a retrospective study will be conducted to compare the pain rating of individuals who have received either treatment. Typically, pain level is reported at the beginning of treatment in both Western and Eastern medicine applications and then tracked as the patient makes progress. Patient records at the UMCG acupuncture center will be used for this purpose. One-hundred patient records will be selected at random from those who have been treated using NSAIDs and one-hundred patient records will be selected at random from those who have been treated using Chinese acupuncture. Their baseline pain levels will be compared, in addition to their pain levels after treatment for the first two years after their initial visit (Picavet & Schouten). In order to ensure that there are no confounding factors, this comparison will stratify on the basis of gender, age, and pre-existing medical conditions.

This study is significant because a finding that either NSAID prescription or Chinese acupuncture application is more beneficial can guide clinical practice because the more effective treatment method will become more widely implemented. If it is found that both treatment methods are equally effective, the less expensive or less invasive option may be deemed as the more favorable treatment option.

Elective period description

During my elective period starting in May 2014, I will be studying the impact on anti-inflammatory medication and Chinese acupuncture treatment on back pain. My mentor, [insert name here], is a general practitioner and will allow me to access records at the UMCG acupuncture center that will be necessary for the completion of this project. In addition to the information I will receive from this partnership, I will gain valuable insight into how back pain is treated and how the patients feel about the treatment options they have available to them. Ultimately, this project will help me draw a comparison of the value of Eastern and Western medicine and to determine where gaps in medical knowledge exist in this particular field. Since it is important to compare alternative treatment methods to determine which are the most effective or feasible, I hope that the findings of this assignment will spark future interest in this type of research. As I undertake this endeavor, I hope to learn more about the application of Chinese acupuncture and the rationale for prescribing pain medication.

Works Cited

Hildebrand VH. “Back pain in the working population: prevalence rates in Dutch trades and  professions.” Ergonomics 38.6 (1995): 1283-98. Print.

Picavet HS, Schouten JS. “Musculoskeletal pain in the Netherlands: prevalences, consequences and risk groups, the DMC(3)-study.” Pain 102.1-2 (2003): 167-78. Print.

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